Other Local News
Northamptonshire County Council 2018-19 Budget Consultation: Phase 1
The financial challenge and the need for change
The money the Council receives from the Government has been reducing for some time and will do so again in 2018/19. Since 2010, we have delivered savings totalling £376 million. By 2021, our total savings will have risen to £0.5 billion. On top of this, we are facing higher than ever demand for our services. We have made a number of difficult choices over the last few years to make the savings we needed, and we need to do this again to make sure that we have enough money in our budget to run services that meet statutory requirements (what we must do) and help those who need it the most.
Our population is growing and its needs are changing. New responsibilities for the Council have placed huge pressures on our public services in the county. As a result of this, and changes at a national level (including Brexit and a new minority Conservative government) we must look again at our financial plans. We are making our case to the Government for Fairer Funding to address this, but we need to act now to make sure we have enough money in our budget for 2018/19 to meet all the pressures we face.
Have your say on Phase 1 of the County Council’s budget proposals
We have started to look at what we might need to change in terms of how we deliver our services and whether we need to reduce or stop anything we currently do. Our proposals set out the start of our plans to deliver a balanced budget for 2018/19 to make sure we have enough money to deliver our key services. In Phase 1, we are consulting early on proposals where we might need to meet contractual or procurement deadlines, where we may need to consult with staff, or where there is a chance of starting to make savings in 2017/18. For Phase 1, these add up to a value of £9.6m.
In December, we will launch Phase 2 of our consultation, which will be our consultation on the draft budget. Phase 2 will also include consultation on the level of Council Tax we propose to set for 2018/19 and have more proposals on how we will manage next year’s budget.
Your feedback on both phases of consultation is really important to us, and all consultation feedback from both phases will be analysed and considered, and will help Councillors make a final decision on the Budget at the Full Council meeting on 22nd February 2018. This meeting is held in public and anyone wishing to speak at the meeting should contact Customer Services.
The consultation on Phase 1 of the budget proposals covered by this survey will run for six weeks, starting on 20th October 2017 and ending on 1st December 2017. Details about the consultation on Phase 2 of the budget proposals will be announced in December. Please email email@example.com if you would like to be notified when Phase 2 of this consultation launches.
How to give your views
We want to hear your views about these options to understand the possible impact of the proposals and what would be the best way forward for the Library and Information Service in Northamptonshire.
Please visit our web site for all of the different ways you can give your feedback to these proposals, including our online questionnaire and public events.
This consultation closes at 1st December 2017.
Details of this consultation and other past and present consultations are available on Northamptonshire County Council’s Consultation Register.
NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group
Communication with the Local Community
I work on behalf of NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group and we are currently trying to identify a number of ways to extend our communication with the local community. It would be helpful if you could look at the bullet points below and let me know if you have any information or if there are any opportunities to come and speak to local groups within your community.
- We are currently running a local winter campaign, we would like to get the messages out to more rural areas of the community via attending community group events, adding information to local newsletters, supplying for relevant community websites or any other opportunities you think maybe relevant. Can you please let me know if any of these are available in your community and who is the best person to contact.
- We would like to add a number of community groups/contacts to our distribution list to receive regular updates on things such as local and national consultation opportunities and local project involvement opportunities. Can you please let me know if you have any local community groups who would be willing to be involved and circulate to their members on our behalf. If so could you please provide contact details.
Any support and information you can provide us with would be greatly appreciated.
Should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Very best regards
Primary Care Transformation Administrator – Communications & Engagement
NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group
Francis Crick House
Moulton Park Industrial Estate
T: 01604 651136
NCC - possible cuts to services
To All Member Councils in Northamptonshire:
Please circulate to all councillors.
You may have picked up in the press the news that Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) is exploring the possibility of cuts to some services that will affect all communities in the county. The news was based on a report on the council’s Medium Term Financial Plan that had been published for the NCC Cabinet meeting that was held yesterday. The report is available here under Item 06.
A web cast of the Cabinet meeting is available at https://northamptonshire.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/279880.
The recommendation in the report was that the proposals be consulted on, and this was agreed at the Cabinet meeting. A public consultation will begin in November and a detailed plan is being drawn up for how that will work.
The proposals relate to 2018/19, i.e. for the financial year that starts in April 2018.
The proposals that will be of most interest to parish and town councils are:
- Remove subsidies for bus services where there is no statutory duty to provide them
- Remove Empowering Councillors and communities fund of £5k per councillor
- Redesign of Libraries including withdrawal of the mobile library and the closure or transfer to the community of some medium and smaller libraries (3 options to be consulted on)
- Remove parish enhancement gang
- Reduced weed killing treatment, reduction in road marking maintenance and targeted traffic signal maintenance
- Reduce winter gritting to 32% of the network and charge parishes for filling grit bins
- Reduce Public Right of Way technical, inspection, enforcement and operational staff levels
It should be noted that the above measures are just part of a package of savings designed to reduce a funding gap of £37.3m by £9.6m, leaving a remaining gap of £27.7m (which in itself is a small proportion of the £0.5 billion needing to have been saved by 2021). Additional proposals will be identified as part of the production of the Draft Budget to be presented in the December 2017 NCC Cabinet. Other measures outlined in the review of the Medium Term Financial Plan include:
- Review of the duties, responsibilities and standards of service delivery provided by the Trading Standards Service with a reduction of approximately 16 staff and focus based on risk and priority,
and less preventions
- Children’s service provision and location review and contract reductions, including a reduction in funding for support services countywide and children’s centres services in Corby
All parish and town councils are encouraged to respond to the consultation on the Medium Term Financial Plan proposals, and when the consultation launches I will circulate the links. However, you don’t have to wait for the launch of the consultation to start having conversations internally about what your parish council will do and how it will react to the proposals if they are implemented. As always, the devil will be in the detail and Northants CALC will be encouraging NCC to:
- Be as open and transparent as possible
- Make access to information easy and straightforward
- Provide detailed information as soon as possible, particularly where there might be an impact on parish and town council’s own budgeting process
- Make it easy for parish and town councils to collaborate with NCC and contribute where they choose to do so, without wrapping everything up in red tape and regulations
Parish and town councils with libraries in their area should begin conversations with NCC as soon as possible, if they haven’t already done so. Contact your county councillor, or the NCC Cabinet member responsible, Cllr Sylvia Hughes (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I will keep you updated on any significant developments.
I hope you have a good weekend!
Danny Moody, MILCM
Northamptonshire County Association of Local Councils
6, Litchborough Business Park
Tel: (Office) 01327 831482